Earbuds Round-Up
Apr 21, 2024 at 5:24 PM Post #75,106 of 75,618
Ah, oops, Yincrow is probably not a DIYer! That's my mistake :)
No biggie. I just thought you knew something I didn't know, which would have been embarrassing for me NOT to know, since I have been a proponent of theirs for some few years now... ROFL
 
Apr 21, 2024 at 6:15 PM Post #75,107 of 75,618
Apologies upfront for any mispellings or anything that isn't coherent, my health took a nosedive the past few days. Don't be afraid to point out anything that doesn't make sense, I'm used to needing to clarify or rewrite what I've said when I'm not fully with it.

Somehow I completely missed your post, sorry about that. I think you're spot on about the RW2K not being as wide as other earbuds and I think that's what I was noticing with the OH Nightingale. The Nightingale definitely trades depth for width and I think that's part of what I'm noticing, maybe my hearing doesn't discern depth as well? Because I've never felt like any of Yincrow's buds have had that great of staging regardless of source, though I think I've noticed it somewhat with female vocals that are much more in your face with the OHN than the RW2K. But with the OHN I've also found multiple songs that have two or three seperate vocal tracks with distinctly different positions that I've never noticed on any of Yincrow's buds. I'm willing to give up some depth for a greater sense of width if you can't have both or need to spend a lot more to get the best of both.

I've been interested in the DB1E but hadn't looked very far into it, but after seeing some comments about the LBBS being somewhat similar to the Chaconne which is now on my short list thanks to a recommendation from @samandhi I've been giving K's earbuds a close look. As much as people love the LBBS I wasn't too keen on the fixed cable, especially since (I think?) at least part of it was braided which I'm not a fan of. The DB1E fixes that issue but I wasn't sure what it sounded like, but after reading your comments and doing some more digging I think it's definitely worth considering. It would be interesting to see whether anyone has ever compared the DB1/E to the Chaconne, I wonder whether the comparison between the LBBS and the Chaconne applies or not.

After listening to it more I would agree with that assessment of the OHN, I don't think I stressed enough in my other posts that the treble can be overwhelming and if I'm not feeling great then I can't stand to listen to them for very long. But when my hearing isn't affected by my health problems it's not as much of an issue. I think you're spot-on with that comment, while I definitely like the way the RW2K sounds and think that it makes a great all-around bud I think I'm looking for something that has a little more sparkle for the times when I can stand it. Yeah that's the impression I've gotten, the only thing that's kept me interested in them was a comment I found from @JAnonymous5150 over on r/headphones saying that they achieve 95% of what the Chaconne does. I know his opinion of the Green Mamba isn't what most people think of them but the chance they can achieve most of the same sound for 1/5th the price is definitely intriguing.

Here's a link to the OpenHeart Nightingale.


For everyone who's had suggestions of what I could try with the Qudelix 5K to try and figure out what frequencies are bothering me I appreciate the help. I've saved all of the posts and I'll try them when I'm feeling better and my hearing isn't out of whack.
Which earbud is better to pick, dendroaspis viridis (green mamba) or yincrow calf?
 
Apr 21, 2024 at 7:17 PM Post #75,108 of 75,618
Very nice, and thorough reply... Sounds fantastic.

There probably isn't anything quite like the Chaconne (as mentioned in my earlier reply) even with a touch more bass. However, if you want to go a different direction with the sound (though still TOTL), and since you seem to have the ability to drive hard to drive head gear, the Yinman 2.0 600 are one of the best for versatility. They do have a really deep reaching bass, and while they are smooth in the upper regions, the resolution and detail retrieval is a bit uncannily revealing (I might liken them a bit to the HD600 or something similar). You would need to listen to them from a high-power source to get the most out of them though because they are 600Ω and only have an 87dB/mW sensitivity rating. This pretty much puts them in the same league as the Hifiman Susvara for needing power to properly excite the drivers. :)

But if driven properly, and if they synergize with the source, there really isn't anything store-bought that can compete (in the same sound signature).

Having said that, if you are looking for a budget set that might resemble the Chaconne (though with less refinement overall) but with a bit more bass, the Lun Sheng Aeolian Bell (Smabat sister company) is better sounding than one would think for roughly $20. They aren't as wide sounding, smooth, resolute, and don't come with a cable, but these work well for critical listening on shoestring budget. They are really the only option (that is listenable) without the "female poison" tuning, from the Smabat company since they discontinued their M2xx line, which these are derived from in sound IMO.

Two more recommendations that are in the similar vein as the Chaconne (though decidedly different as well) are the FiiO FF5, and the DUNU Alpha 3. Both have more quantity of bass than the Chaconne. These are the only other two sets of buds that I have heard that don't have any shouty boosts in the upper mids, and that can be used for both analytical listening, as well as fun (though you probably won't enjoy anything like rap as much as you might on other sets). These are suitable for most genres. I consider them a compliment to the Chaconne since they are niche buds.

I may be wrong here, and @ttorbic may know more than me, but I don't think that the Yincrow brand are considered DIY. Though again, maybe I have been wrong all this time. These are also excellent sidgrades. I consider both the RW2000 and the RW3000 to be TOTL in their sound as well.

Another piece of advise before you jump completely down the rabbit hole. If you are considering purchasing some fairly expensive DIY buds from the names mentioned, I would first purchase a set or two of some (really good but) cheap MX500 buds. The reason I say this is because if you have no issues with the Chaconne, you will be less likely to have issues with any that I have recommended because they are all similar types of shells (though certainly not the same, and still could have fitment issues) and most of the ones made by those names are in the MX500 type. But the MX500 shell seems to be the most divisive where fitment and comfort is concerned. As for the ones to get that still sound good for cheap in this type of shell, the Yincrow X6, or Faael Snow Lotus, Monk (Lite), Faael Iris Ancestor, etc...

As for listening from a cheap source (i.e. phone, PC soundcard), I suggest the very good but super cheap FiiO FF1. They aren't as refined as the other TOTL options, but they actually sound best coming from a low powered, less refined source. I found this strange, but I have tested it with all my gear, from high-end to really low end, and found it to be true for me anyhow. :wink:

Then there is the Smabat ST10S silver regular (42Ω), and black and gold (150Ω). The 150Ω version has the potential for some really decent amount of bass. Since they don't have a huge mid-bass hump, it doesn't show up as much until you listen to something with sub bass (and these have plenty of it, especially for an earbud). They are a bit of a U-shaped tuning but are otherwise very refined sounding. These are a very good set as well.

You MIGHT like the other sets Smabat currently have available, but my advice is to not waste the money on them (M4, and M5, and M5 Golden). Their 20dB+ boost at the 3K to 5K region is what we, around here like to call "ice pick" sound. I am sure you can imagine why?!
Fantastic! Thanks for details and the jump start. I had the FF5, Dunu and Yinman on my short list from reading prior posts. I will attempt one, if not a few next big sale on Alli and hear what I hear. I did not know that about the Smabat. I had the M5 on my list too, but I will remove it based on what you stated. I will need to do a bit more research on the Rikubuds, seems like they are very dialed in based on the model and gen you decide to get. I have my eye on the Desolation Sand, or a Totem. However, I want to spend sometime with the reds i just ordered before getting anything else from TGXEar. As of right now, I will enjoy the Moondrops and the Reds when they arrive. Again, my thanks for the info and hospitality.
 
Apr 21, 2024 at 8:09 PM Post #75,109 of 75,618
Fantastic! Thanks for details and the jump start. I had the FF5, Dunu and Yinman on my short list from reading prior posts. I will attempt one, if not a few next big sale on Alli and hear what I hear. I did not know that about the Smabat. I had the M5 on my list too, but I will remove it based on what you stated. I will need to do a bit more research on the Rikubuds, seems like they are very dialed in based on the model and gen you decide to get. I have my eye on the Desolation Sand, or a Totem. However, I want to spend sometime with the reds i just ordered before getting anything else from TGXEar. As of right now, I will enjoy the Moondrops and the Reds when they arrive. Again, my thanks for the info and hospitality.
You are very welcome! :)

One of the reasons that I love this thread (and always have) is because (even though I mention my favorites a lot) there is no agenda or desire from those making recs to get that person to buy the preferences of the person doing the recommendation. It really is all about your ears and what you will like (as best as those people can do without knowing anything about your preferences other than your words). I/we certainly do hope you are able to find what you are looking for.

I might also make another suggestion, if you are the type of person that likes to tinker. If you make your own, it will cost you a FRACTION of what you would be paying for TOTL sound. There are quite a few on here that have experimented and made enough that they have (pretty much) gotten it down by now. For instance, I have quite a few that one of our own from here gifted to me that actually put most if not all of my store bought buds behind the curve in terms of sound quality. I try not to mention them TOO frequently because when I do, he gets spammed with PMs about making them a set, and he doesn't sell them. Instead he makes them for the joy of it, and gifts them to those that he knows and trusts. :)

It seems as though we have similar tastes in music, and not THAT far off for taste in head gear as well because I like a variety of sounds in my gear as well. Since I don't put my gear in my signature, and case you missed it, here is the list of my equipment (I actually missed a few on the original list, so these are added as well):
Headphones
  • Focal Elegia
  • AKG K702
  • Sennheiser HD800 S
  • Sennheiser HD700
  • Hifiman HE400S (not the newer SE version)
  • Hifiman Deva (OG not the "Pro" version wired or wireless)
  • Marshall Monitor
  • Bose AE2W (yeah I know :wink:)
  • Sennheiser Momentum (OG wired version)
  • Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless (OG version wired or wireless)
  • B&W P5 (OG wired version)
  • Sennheiser PX360
IEMs
  • iBasso IT-07
  • Aür Audio Aüre
  • iBasso IT-01S
  • Raptgo Hook-X (OG version)
  • Raptgo Bridge
  • TinHifi P1 (OG version)
  • CCA CRA
  • CCA CRA+
  • 7Hz Timeless (OG version)
  • 7Hz Legato
  • DUNU DK2001 (Emerald version)
  • TRI Star River
  • Hifiman RE800 (Silver Version)
  • Xiaomi Piston 2.1 (2 sets, brown and white)
  • Audiosense T800
Flathead Earbuds
  • Yincrow RW2000
  • Yincrow RW3000
  • Moondrop Chaconne
  • Yinman 2.0 600 (600Ω version)
  • Smabat M2s Pro (with all the added drivers including the elusive and now discontinued 32Ω youth driver)
  • Smabat M4 (with added SO 100Ω driver, and ST10S B&G 150Ω driver)
  • Smabat M5 (with stock 150Ω Golden driver, and same as M4 drivers)
  • Smabat ST10S B&G (150Ω driver)
  • Lun Sheng Aeolian Bell
  • DUNU Alpha1
  • DUNU Alpha 3
  • Rose Technics Maria II
  • FiiO FF1
  • FiiO FF3 (OG version)
  • FiiO FF5
  • NiceHCK EB2S (OG version)
  • FQL Blackhole Redux
  • FQL Grand Finale
  • FQL Aquila
  • FQL Caelum
  • FQL Draco
  • FQL Blue Moon
  • Apple Classic (2nd gen)
TWS & Wireless
  • Sony Linkbuds (OG version)
  • Hifiman TWS600
  • Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch
  • Nuarl N6 Pro
  • Plantronics Backbeat Go
  • Strauss and Wagner SW301
  • Rocketfish MAB2
  • Sennheiser RS-140 (RF headphones)
Sources For Head Gear (not including loudspeaker systems)
  • FiiO X5 (OG first version)
  • FiiO X3 II
  • Shanling M0
  • iBasso DX160
  • iBasso DX300 (with stock and 2 more amplifier cards)
  • Apple iPod touch (3rd gen)
  • Apple iPod Touch (5th gen)
  • FiiO E17 Alpen (DAC and/or amplifier)
  • FiiO E17K Alpen 2 (DAC and/or amplifier)
  • Topping E70V DAC
  • iFi Pro iCan Signature Amplifier (with both SS and Tube mode, not hybrid)
  • Asus ROG Strix Hero III G731GW-DB76 (as a Roon core)
 
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Apr 21, 2024 at 8:55 PM Post #75,110 of 75,618
Flathead Earbuds
  • Yincrow RW2000
  • Yincrow RW3000
  • Moondrop Chaconne
  • Yinman 2.0 600 (600Ω version)
  • Smabat M2s Pro (with all the added drivers including the elusive and now discontinued 32Ω youth driver)
  • Smabat M4 (with added SO 100Ω driver, and ST10S B&G 150Ω driver)
  • Smabat M5 (with stock 150Ω Golden driver, and same as M4 drivers)
  • Smabat ST10S B&G (150Ω driver)
  • Lun Sheng Aeolian Bell
  • DUNU Alpha1
  • DUNU Alpha 3
  • Rose Technics Maria II
  • FiiO FF1
  • FiiO FF3 (OG version)
  • FiiO FF5
  • NiceHCK EB2S (OG version)
  • FQL Blackhole Redux
  • FQL Grand Finale
  • FQL Aquila
  • FQL Caelum
  • FQL Draco
  • FQL Blue Moon
  • Apple Classic (2nd gen)
[/spoiler]
You have so many from FQL. I'm officially jealous of you.
 
Apr 21, 2024 at 9:02 PM Post #75,111 of 75,618
Which earbud is better to pick, dendroaspis viridis (green mamba) or yincrow calf?
I don't have the Viridis but I've read that it's a mids and treble monster at the expense of bass and overall harshness. If you're looking at the Viridis you know what you want, but if you haven't heard of it before it's probably not for you. The Calf is a much more well-rounded earbud with present but slightly anemic bass and good mids and treble without being overly harsh. If the Calf is your price limit then it's pretty good for a prebuilt earbud but there are better DIY and custom earbuds available. If you're willing to wait and can spend a bit more the Yincrow Rhino is a major step up with improved bass, less harsh treble and a slightly better soundstage. They're closer to the RW-2000 than the Calf but they're quite a bit cheaper on sale and they remain a favorite of mine even though I have the RW-2000 now.

I am so sorry to hear that, and hope you get healthy very soon?!
Thanks for the concern, I'm having a much better day today. Apologies if I alarmed you that wasn't my intention, I just wanted to have a disclaimer about anything I said in case it didn't make sense. If I ever say that I like Fiio's earbuds then you'll know that I'm completely out of it lol.
 
Apr 21, 2024 at 9:14 PM Post #75,112 of 75,618
You have so many from FQL. I'm officially jealous of you.
So, what you're saying is that if I keep it up, your (forum) name will have meaning just for me??? 🤷‍♂️:stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::v:
Thanks for the concern, I'm having a much better day today. Apologies if I alarmed you that wasn't my intention, I just wanted to have a disclaimer about anything I said in case it didn't make sense. If I ever say that I like Fiio's earbuds then you'll know that I'm completely out of it lol.
That is good to hear. I just don't like to see/hear about good people suffering. :)

OK! I'll be sure to keep an eye out for the flying FiiO compliments.... haha
 
Apr 21, 2024 at 10:17 PM Post #75,113 of 75,618
So, what you're saying is that if I keep it up, your (forum) name will have meaning just for me??? 🤷‍♂️:stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::v:
😄 I liked that. So you get a forever pass just for making me smile.
I created this username some 20 years ago as kind of a joke. And I'll probably use until my passing.

Ok just so I'm not completely off topic, how would you rank those buds? At the head of the pack or middleish(don't think this is a word)? I see that they're in great company with your other buds.
 
Apr 21, 2024 at 10:49 PM Post #75,114 of 75,618
😄 I liked that. So you get a forever pass just for making me smile.
I created this username some 20 years ago as kind of a joke. And I'll probably use until my passing.

Ok just so I'm not completely off topic, how would you rank those buds? At the head of the pack or middleish(don't think this is a word)? I see that they're in great company with your other buds.
:clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap: YAY! :)

I have used this one for a very long time as well (probably about as many years now). It is actually a character, a bad guy, from an epic fantasy series called: The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. There are 9 books in the series. Anyhow, the character's name is actually Samadhi (ironically there is also and actually an album by the band, Live called Secret Samadhi; I wonder if it is inspired by the character in the book?!). I spelled it wrong (as is plain to see from my forum name), but had already used it on several forums, so I just left it alone, and adopted the wrong spelling. The good news is I NEVER run into the issue where someone else has used it so have to add numbers or letters after it (i.e. samandhi1234, etc...) haha

If you are asking me to rate the FQL buds, that is pretty easy, yet not easy at all. First and foremost, 4 of the 6 are at the tip top of my overall list... But compared to each other, they would go like this:

1. FQL Draco = FQL Blue Moon = FQL Aquila = FQL Caelum
2. FQL Grand Finale
3. FQL Blackhole Redux

I know, I put 4 of them as number one... I will simply quote a person that used to frequent this thread a lot and say that the set that is in my ears at that time is my favorite. :)

They are all so different from one another, I can't really rank them above one another. That is mainly because I value their tuning and technicalities all. I DO sometimes have a specific preference, but I think I am more of a chameleon where sound signatures are concerned. Some days I like one, where other days I like a totally different one. Sorry I probably didn't help much at all. Knowing that, I will just say that for what they do, they all do it better than any other set I have heard... period! :sunglasses::thumbsup:
 
Apr 22, 2024 at 12:17 AM Post #75,115 of 75,618
😄 I liked that. So you get a forever pass just for making me smile.
I created this username some 20 years ago as kind of a joke. And I'll probably use until my passing.
:clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap: YAY! :)

I have used this one for a very long time as well (probably about as many years now). It is actually a character, a bad guy, from an epic fantasy series called: The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. There are 9 books in the series. Anyhow, the character's name is actually Samadhi (ironically there is also and actually an album by the band, Live called Secret Samadhi; I wonder if it is inspired by the character in the book?!). I spelled it wrong (as is plain to see from my forum name), but had already used it on several forums, so I just left it alone, and adopted the wrong spelling. The good news is I NEVER run into the issue where someone else has used it so have to add numbers or letters after it (i.e. samandhi1234, etc...) haha
I'm also curious about the origin of the usernames of others in here lol.
 
Apr 22, 2024 at 9:47 PM Post #75,117 of 75,618
@mt877 I received my cables today. I wanted to thank you again for the rec. If you remember, the goal was to replace the RW3000 cable with something similar or as close to that cable as possible, since you cannot order a replacement directly from Yincrow (I assume, because I didn't know who to contact in order to find out for sure). Two things of note here with these cables (so far):

1. While I have not measured either/both cable/cables, the Xinhs cable seems to sound better to my ears than the stock RW3000 cable does. I don't know if this is due to added resistance or the materials used in the stock cable comparatively, but there it is...

2. I think that this cable is of much better quality and is much softer than the stock cable. Aesthetically, it isn't quite the same, but I am finding I actually like it better. Also, the fact that you can (nowadays) get a modular cable of this quality for a decent price is a fantastic thing.
 
Apr 23, 2024 at 1:42 AM Post #75,118 of 75,618
@mt877 I received my cables today. I wanted to thank you again for the rec. If you remember, the goal was to replace the RW3000 cable with something similar or as close to that cable as possible, since you cannot order a replacement directly from Yincrow (I assume, because I didn't know who to contact in order to find out for sure). Two things of note here with these cables (so far):

1. While I have not measured either/both cable/cables, the Xinhs cable seems to sound better to my ears than the stock RW3000 cable does. I don't know if this is due to added resistance or the materials used in the stock cable comparatively, but there it is...

2. I think that this cable is of much better quality and is much softer than the stock cable. Aesthetically, it isn't quite the same, but I am finding I actually like it better. Also, the fact that you can (nowadays) get a modular cable of this quality for a decent price is a fantastic thing.
Congrats! Pictures please :)

TGXEAR uses xinhs cables, and I use them on my IEMs as well. Excellent cable quality
 
Apr 23, 2024 at 3:20 AM Post #75,119 of 75,618
Have you noticed that there are several shops called XINHS that sell different cables?
Screenshot_2024-04-23-10-50-12-78_3c841798971d89a92069939d312bec3c.jpg
 
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Apr 23, 2024 at 5:34 AM Post #75,120 of 75,618
Have you noticed that there are several shops called XINHS that sell different cables?Screenshot_2024-04-23-10-50-12-78_3c841798971d89a92069939d312bec3c.jpg
Well the last one is the one I've been using. First one has a suspiciously low subscriber count.
 

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